THEN AND NOW

What did you sayI am sitting here thinking about the then and now, or the past and the present. Years ago, I’d be waiting for the mail person to deliver an answer to a question I asked weeks ago. Now, with instant feedback, I get antsy if a days goes by without any communication. Are we getting too pushy?

I bring this up because I just received a card, note, or whatever you want to call it, in the mail from a long-time friend. She writes in a beautiful hand style and I can read every word. I treasure her cards and feel the warmth as I open the envelope. She has taken the time to purchase the card, write her message, and send it through the post. Does this make me old-fashioned? I hope not.

I remember going to stores, shopping for just the right card for the right person. When I found the card, I knew it without looking any further. Sometimes, I’d write with an ink pen that matched the card: red ink, blue ink, green ink, or aqua ink. But, I must admit this is when my penmanship looked like penmanship. That was the then.

Now, we have the net, and yes I am so thankful for this quick transfer of information. But, we still have a problem — Texting. I have to learn a new alphabet, no that’s not the right word. I have to learn a new alphabet. Again, that’s not the right, how about a new language? Even my old handwriting looks better than the alphabet used on text.  XU.

Okay, I’m guessing and the reason is technology. I have my ‘coming out’ date this week. For years, I’ve used the radio or records to make my music. Then, I got introduced to CD’s. Neat. a lot like records, but smaller and easier to manage. Then, music came on your I-phone and I-pod. Yeah, I do have an I-phone for emergencies only.  Sure, I like to get calls, but the “you can reach me at any time” does not fit my lifestyle. I need downtown. But, I broke down and purchased an I-Pod Classic. Now, I’m hip. (Is this word still in the old English?) I have worked on this little, powerful piece of equipment along  with I-Tunes for over a month. Nothing synced. I learned how to make playlists on I-Tunes and they stayed right there. Nothing transferred to my little Classic. With the help of a very youthful representative, she walked me through the process. Embarrassed? No way. I asked and got help.

So one day this next week, my I-Pod and I will transform my exercise classes to the new technology. If I make a mess, I’ll go back to my little transportable CD player and the old standbys. Either way, I’ve tried and will keep trying until the process is complete.

I do have a card to send back to my friend in Wyoming, even if I have to print each word, the then time period.

Happy writing to everyone, then and now.

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A MIDNIGHT MOVE

Two friends“Did I just read this right, Ethel? Patricia moved?”

“No, Edna, she had an experience. Let’s see what she can offer before we go off on the other spectrum.”

It happened sometime while my eyes closed. I felt nothing, heard nothing, saw nothing. Of course not, my eyes stayed shut. When the alarm went off, I was still in my same bed, my same bedroom, my same home. But, not in the same world.

My world included dark clouds, a furnace blowing hot air, windows closed tight, in fact a prison that held me captive. Yet, I found my windows open, a bit, ceiling fans on, and the furnace did not chug.

I felt like someone has poured water over me. The sheets felt damp, my hair clung to my head, hoping for a little release. All I wanted was water, water, water for a scratchy throat. As I got up, I peeked out the window. I saw the same trees, sans snow. The backyard looked like I remembered the landscape, but a red ball, YESSSSSS, a big red ball started rising and filling the sky with brilliant colors. I knew the end had come.

Yet, more colors filled the sky. I did not hear a loud bang. I saw no smoke. I listened for gunfire. Nada. Where am I? At a time like this, I wished for a pet. A dog would run and hide, but a cat would crawl on my lap. Or is it the other way around? A cat would hide in the nearest crevice, but the dog would stay by my side to protect me? Since I have neither, it is my responsibility to protect myself.

I heard no knocks on the door. No alarms went off, either from my home or the police, or the FBI. Is this paranoia or paranormal?  I crept down the hall. The kitchen looked the same. No furniture re-arranged in the living area. Still, I am not certain  where I am.

I grabbed the remote, clicking on the button as I turned my head to the side. The news arrived on the television screen. No heads up of an invasion. Everything the same. What is going on?

Then the weather people appeared. I heard birds tweeting in the trees outside my open windows. I looked at the screen. All the temps appeared way above normal. Everything was so far above freezing, that everyone was joyous. The new forecast was for “spring-like” living”. No wonder my life felt lifted into another world.

I danced around my home. I checked my closets, but warm winter clothes stared back at me. Sure, I’ll take whenever spring hits my home, my neighborhood, my life. I know winter will try again.

Yeah!!! I am still in the same surroundings. Whew!!! Back at home and will be waiting for the initial announcement of spring.

Join with me in basking in the thoughts of spring.

“See there, she has the same problems of both of us. Edna and Ethel will be with you until spring, and a long time to come. We will not disappear when you need us so much.”

WEATHER IS LIKE A LOVER – UNPREDICTABLE

Seasonal_FestivalsThe weather, in and around Atlanta, has been like a raging lover. Even seasoned forecasters had problems describing this new phenomenon. We looked for sleet. We looked for snow. We looked for ice. We found all three events, just not in any pattern.

Do you recognize the lover in all of these episodes? Of course. In every romance, you have the protagonist, the antagonist, and the possibilities of recurring events.

Two weeks ago, the antagonist lover showed up unannounced and proceeded to capture the protagonist by keeping the person(s) locked inside a moving vehicle, while snow, sleet and ice pelted down around them. No way to stop. Nowhere to turn, and nowhere else to go. Locked inside without the means to get out. For some, the hours dragged from one or two to twenty or more. The ability to comprehend was enormous and daunting. Then, the antagonist relented and the capture stopped People crawled out from cramped positions to look at all the possible scenarios. Safe was the first one that came to mind. Other feelings did a slow creep inside out minds. Is this what a deranged lover might do? Despair and hurt became part of the answer to the runaway storm.

Just as we attempted to put our lives back into the sunshine, the pathway of another storm reared its ugly head. This time we did get ample time to make plans. We got to choose how to ride out the demands of the antagonist. Nothing was forced upon us. Maybe, a gentle lover, but not an agitated lover. No one would gain any sympathy here.

Yet, the lover forgot about the availability of resources and the timing of the weather increment. The protagonist had time to gather food and prepare for an intimate setting at home. Music came from a stereo, not a car radio. Drinks were plentiful, with no worries about a bathroom or a bed. All the comforts of a great love affair, except the protagonist still catered to the whims of the antagonist, the weather.

Soon, all the events of a good love affair became withered. The constant yearn to get out, do something, walk somewhere became overbearing. No amount of downtime can take away the process of freedom; freedom to roam wherever and whenever we want.

As we look forward to a sunny day and warmer lovers, may this time of prison with a cold lover be left behind and forgotten. Let’s push ourselves forward with great anticipation of a spring romance. Picture soft breezes, new flowers, walks in the park, a gentle arm around our shoulders, and NO imprisonment with surroundings.

HAPPY DAYS. HAPPY WRITING WITH NEW ENVIRONMENTS. HAPPY YOU.

WRITERS WRITE. RIGHT?

images_006Writers write. That’s what writers do. Yet, what happens when the words do not appear?

My mind has tripped end over end to get the beginning of a new novel out. No, just the beginning. I can see the story, picture scenes, a couple of characters, and no words.

I tried to plot a few chapters. Forget that. I want to feel what the first chapter will do to or for me. Without words, no way.

Since there is a lot of activity in my writing area at this point, and I couldn’t be happier, I still have to keep writing. This new book might turn out to be a series, and I am at a standstill.

I stalk my bookcase. I look and look at all the creative writing books I have purchased. None fit. Then, my eyes and heart travel to a book I’ve had for eons. I double-check the copyright date, 1992, and this brings back many memories.

I grab the book and head to the sofa. As I open the pages, one thing stares at me in my own handwriting: “You cannot think your way into right action, but you can act your way into right thinking.”

Wham. A knock against my head. This is THE ARTIST”S WAY by Julia Cameron. Sure, I should be writing, but if the words cannot find a way out, maybe I can ‘let go’ of what is blocking my mind and watch the words pile up.

I read my notes in small areas. Some I cannot decipher and some I wished were not there. Then I see another handwritten note: “Let it happen. Do not make it happen. Tap into your well of unconsciousness. Behind the mind is a trigger to unlock your thoughts. Do not be afraid to use this.”

Wow! This is just what I needed to see as I remember all the effort of the morning pages. I wrote for 10-15 minutes every morning, whether I could see the paper or not. Some days I wrote across the paper, sideways, bottom to top, anything to charge my mind. And, some mornings my paper filled with the same sentence-I cannot think of anything to write. When the time was up, my mind unlocked and I could feel the words squeezing my pencil or pen.

OOPS! it is happening again. I feel words rumbling in my head. It’s time to get these down and make sense of everything later.

When you get stuck, and we all do, remember the morning pages, or afternoon pages, or evening pages. Just write.

Happy Writing.

SNOW SCENARIO IN ATLANTA

SuccessIt has been one week since I spent a harrowing five hours in my car to go 6-7 miles. Yeah, we were told there could be a snow storm, but these words have been heard many times without consequences.

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, I went into class early. No snow. Cold, but, hey it’s January. After setting up the classroom, I meandered out to the front of the gym. A few spits from the skies came down. Small, more like pellets than snow, fell and did not stick to the pavement. Kinda like rain.

An hour later, class ended, equipment stored, I headed out to a lot of white-stuff on my car, the parking lot, and the gym announced they would close at 4:00 pm. I brushed off the ‘snow’ on the car windows, hood, top and let the rest alone. It will blow off as I drive. Yeah, right. I drove to my entrance to the main drag home. Yee! Gods! Cars everywhere, going north, going south, and not going at all. I got the impression that every person had their own car on the road, and this included cars for their pets. A sea of cars, trucks, SUV’s, crowded every lane. I was in one of the three lanes heading south, and the other three lanes heading north were full.

I looked at my gas gauge, 3/4 full, but still said a prayer. For once, all the drivers kept close, but did not ride the bumper ahead of them. When I got within a mile of home, my bladder made me shudder. Guys have the advantage here. I used some of my exercise positions to hold tight. I couldn’t feel my numb feet, but knew they were still there as I could push the brake and use the accelerator, but what for? I wasn’t going anywhere quick.

I got to the corner to turn on my street and thought about the hill down to my condo entrance. My heart flipped. After this hill, I had to go down, around, up, around, down, up around and prayed for no ice.

Once inside my parking deck, I took a deep breath. I do not remember breathing, but since I made the trip, guess my body did breathe. I opened the driver’s door and could not move. My whole body was numb. Feet did not go in the direction I pointed them. My butt did not feel attached to my body. As I came close to crawling out, to get inside my condo building, I saw two inches of snow, maybe more glazed over with ice. With a little Devine Intervention, my tennis shoes slid across the white stuff. I entered my building with only a short elevator ride to home. OH!  OH! Just let me get inside; then if my bladder reacts, I’m, home. I made it to the bathroom. I made it home. I made the ride and know I could do it again, but HOPE not for a long-long time.

I can hear some of you laughing. Go ahead, enjoy yourselves. We are in the South, and not used to other ways of life. Yet, old dogs can learn new tricks. I can even hear Edna and Ethel laughing.

May you have warmer days until Spring arrives.

Patricia